Stay in the Loop

Tennis Coach Keeping North Loop Dogs Happy

Every now and then, people show up at the North Loop dog park to find a big new supply of lightly-used tennis balls. Turns out, the guy who’s been dropping them off for the past few years is the Associate Men’s Tennis Coach at the University of Minnesota, Urban Ljubic.

He’s been a North Loop resident for 12 years and doesn’t have a dog of his own because of his busy travel schedule, but he wanted to do something nice for the neighborhood.

“At the Tennis Center at the university, there’s tons of balls that are old,” Ljubic said. “They can’t be used for tennis anymore so it’s a matter of just putting them in a bag and bringing them over.”

Sometimes he drops them off late at night and is happy to see them scattered around the park the next day.

Ljubic, a former highly-ranked player from Slovenia, is in a state of limbo right now since the U of M decided to cut the tennis program, effective at the end of this season. The team is working on possible solutions to save the program. But if they’re unsuccessful, Ljubic says he will likely have to move elsewhere.

As long as he’s here, though, he says he’ll enjoy watching neighbor dogs get some fun exercise. “It’s a great feeling,” he said, “I just love it.”

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

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